Several schools eye Ellsworth's Rabe

Ellsworth lit up the scoreboard last season behind a dynamic passing game and one player who played a part in that is TE John Rabe (6-4, 245). The talented tight end can split out or play on the end of the line and because of that versatility, four-year schools have already made the effort to come and watch spring practice to get a look at him...

Rabe prepped at Iowa Falls/Alden High School and had the opportunity to walk-on at Northern Iowa or even could have taken a scholarship offer from one of several D-2 schools, but decided to stay close to home and see if he could earn a D-1 offer.

"Ellsworth is really close to home," Rabe told "I could stay close, play some ball for a good program and have a chance to play at the highest level I can which is my goal.

"Ever since I was a little kid, I've followed Ellsworth. My family went to games and I have known the staff pretty well personally, so it was the right place for me to be."

Last season, Ellsworth's offense averaged 491 yards per game, including 284 passing yards per game. While most of the passing went to receivers like Quintin Robinson, who signed with Toledo, Rabe worked the middle of the field and hauled in 25 receptions for 488 yards and two touchdowns.

"We run the spread, so I played in the slot or out wide a lot," Rabe said. "I played a lot on the end of the line too though and I blocked a lot because we ran a lot out of the spread.

"I'm probably a better receiver and in our offense I would definitely say that's how I'm used the most, but I've really improved as a blocker and I work on it all the time."

Recruiting has been pretty steady since the start of spring football for the Panthers and Rabe said there's a chance he could see some offers later this week.

"Right now I'm still waiting on my first offer, but I have some schools coming out this week that told me they could be offering," Rabe noted. "Central Michigan and Northern Illinois both told me they will be here this week to see me and there is a possibility they could be offering so I'm hopeful that that happens.

"Wisconsin and Iowa State have been here this spring to watch us and I talked to Iowa a week or so ago. Oregon State and Kansas State have sent me some questionaires, but I haven't really had any contact with them other than that."

Rabe was a full-qualifier as a prep, so he can leave at any time, but he plans to play this fall, sign with a school in December and he'll have three years to play two wherever he ends up.

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